IP Telephony news wrap-up for Jun 9 – 2006

Avaya has introduced 4 new desktop IP phone models within its 9600 series of One-X Desktop Edition phones. The phones feature an intuitive context sensitive screen that presents different information depending on the user’s activity, new conferencing capabilities, a WML interface for supporting a new suite of applications, high fidelity sound via wideband audio, and screen prompts available in 14 languages.

Multi-party conferencing has been enhanced with the new ability for a user to see all of the teleconference participants on the screen and add, drop, or mute individual people.

The WML interface enables the phone to support new applications such as using the phone as an employee time clock, conducting employee surveys, conducting enterprise-wide contact directory searches, and to broadcast alerts.

The 9620 and 9630 models are scheduled for availability in July. The 9620 is designed for workers that use multiple communication devices daily. the 9630 is designed for workers that are considered power communicators. The 9610 and 9650 are scheduled for availability in the first quarter of next year. The 9610 is a phone for lobbies and public locations and the 9650 is a phone designed for power communicators that manage their own calls and the calls of others.

Separately, Avaya is offering a wideband audio headset and a 24-button LCD module to support any One-X Desktop Edition IP phone.

Mitel has introduced two new enterprise desktop phone models including the 5330 and 5340. Both feature a 160×320 graphical display with 24 or 48 self labeling, multi-function, programmable keys. The phones include full duplex, hands-free speakerphone systems with support for wideband audio handsets. They can be used as an ACD agent, supervisor or teleworker phones.

The company has also released a HTML Toolkit for the phones, providing the option to create graphical phone applications using a standard web-authoring tool.

In addition to the phones and toolkit, Mitel has introduced new GigE and WLAN stands as well as conference units and a Line Interface Module that provides e911 dialing and PSTN failover. The stands support SIP as well as the company’s proprietary MiNet protocol.

The WLAN Stand operates in two modes: client and access point. The client mode enables the phone to operate in a standard WLAN environment while the access point mode provides a wireless environment for multiple Mitel IP phones and wireless devices.

The GigE stand is currently available. All other products introduced are scheduled for availability in July.

AltiGen Communications has introduced IP 705, a new enterprise desktop IP phone that works within the company’s own phone system. The new phone features five backlit, user-defined, programmable keys that can be configured for access to a combination of calling features such as speed dialing, extension busy/ringing appearances, call appearances, and line appearances. The 2-line LCD can display time, caller ID name and number, and do not disturb and call forwarding status. User have single button access to voicemail, call conferencing, call transfer, redial and call log lists.

Other phone features include paging, multiple line appearances, busy lamp fields, PoE support, and support for third party hands free headsets. The phone also supports auto answer, a feature that allows calls to be answered automatically to a defined voice device within a specified ring time.

The phone is currently available.

AltiGen Communications
Federal authorities have arrested Edwin Pena and Robert Moore for hacking into as many as 15 VoIP networks including Net2Phone to fraudently route its own customers’ calls. The duo then billed Net2Phone for more than 500,000 unauthorized calls that were sold at approximately four tenths of a cent per minute. Pena collected more than a $1 million in connection fees, which he used to live large in Miama.

Pena and Moore obtained the prefixes or proprietary codes established by the service providers to accept calls for routing. Using the brute force method, the team flooded providers with test calls, each carrying a different prefix, until a match was established.

To disguise the operation, Pena hacked into the network of a Rye Brook, NY-based hedge fund to have the calls originate from a router there.

Pena and Moore started offering wholesale VoIP services in November 2004.

Q&A with Sipera Systems’ CEO Seshu Madhavapeddy on the state of VoIP security:

IP Pulse: When you think of VoIP hacking, typically you think of a consumer stealing service or interrupting operations, but today’s news indicates that the threat is much greater. How aware are service providers of the different ways networks can be breached and exploited? Has this type of security threat been addressed before?

Madhavapeddy: These types of security threats are new. This is a direct result of the convergence of voice and Internet. Thus far voice has been delivered on trusted, separate, voice networks. On the Internet it’s a free for all. Loop holes in voice services and protocols are easily exploited on the Internet. Therefore, a comprehensive VoIP security strategy is vital to protect these VoIP services. thousands of vulnerabilities in VoIP networks.

IP Pulse: Are most VoIP networks as vulnerable to an attack as Net2Phone? Pena went undetected for over a year. Is it reasonable to assume there are dozens and maybe even hundreds of other businesses operating by hacking into VoIP networks and stealing their resources?

Madhavapeddy: I suspect quite a few are vulnerable. But some of the of VoIP adopters – both enterprises and service providers – have been paying attention to what we have been saying and taking counter measures to protect themselves. But those that have not, and are depending entirely on their existing data security products only, are indeed still vulnerable.

IP Pulse: What security measures need to be taken to prevent this specific kind of attack?

Madhavapeddy: Enterprises and Service Providers must realize VoIP is unique and not ‘just another’ Internet application. It is service rich, protocol rich, real-time sensitive and mission critical. Therefore, a whole new set of techniques are needed to secure it, measures such as VoIP application layer: spoof detection, user behavioral learning, user finger printing, user intention verification and machine call detection.

IP Pulse: The greatest irritants to using the Internet are spam, pop-ups, and spyware. Consumers have come to accept that they are part of the Internet experience. I am not sure consumers will tolerate such intrusions with their phone service. How can service providers assess their network security and what are the most advanced solutions available to protect consumer accounts?

Madhavapeddy: There are advanced products available that address these issues. comprehensive solutions for both VoIP network vulnerability assessment as well as protection. I agree that consumers as well as enterprises will not tolerate poor service. Voice is far too important. But the good news is there are companies out
there, which are way ahead of the curve and already have solutions to all these potential VoIP vulnerabilities.

Sipera Systems
Multi-Tech has introduced a line of new SIP-based VoIP gateways including models with 2, 4, and 8 ports. The gateways connect to analog ports on telephony gear using FXS or FXO ports and connect to an IP network via a 10/100BaseT interface. The gateways also feature a RS232 command port.

Other gateway features include T.38 fax support, voice activity detection for silence compression, comfort noise generation, and 5.3Kbps voice compression. The devices can be configured via a web browser and are flash upgradeable.

The gateways will be shipping next quarter. The 2-port model will be available for $599. The 4-port will go for $999 and the 8-port model will be offered for $1,699.

Multi-Tech Systems
EarthLink will use Solegy’s Service PDQ managed VoIP platform to drive the ISP’s new Mindspring PC to phone service, a prepaid offering that will have EarthLink’s softphone integrated with its instant messaging client. Solegy will manage the platform for EarthLink as well as provide real-time billing and access to a web site that can be used for self provisioning and customer self service.

Nortel Networks has introduced Communication Server 1500 (CS 1500), a second generation softswitch designed for small and medium sized wireline service providers as well as greenfield service providers. The softswitch can be deployed for Class 4 or Class 5 applications to replace an existing switch or as an addition to the network. The full range of legacy network interfaces are included as well as support for e911 and CALEA. The core control, gateways and operations, administration and maintenance interfaces are all housed in a single chassis solution.

In conjunction with the product introduction, Nortel is also offering professional services to support the entire network lifecycle including engineering and installation, security assessment, integration and acceptance, assisted on-site or remote network operations and on-going maintenance.

The CS 1500 is scheduled for field trials in Q4 and for general availability in Q1 of next year.

The IP Pulse thanks Iain Woolf, from Nortel’s Canadian division, for going out of his way to improve our publishing operations.

Nortel Networks
Telco Systems has introduced Access500, a new family of SIP-based VoIP IADs for SMBs. Each model features 2 DS1s, 3 10/100TX Ethernet ports, and 1 SFP optical Ethernet WAN. Customer interfaces are 10/100BaseT to the LAN, FXS analog interfaces, and PRI/CAS PBX.

The 505 model supports 1 PRI and 4 FXS ports. The 512 includes 12 FXS ports and the 524 includes 24 FXS ports. All models can be provisioned and activated remotely.

The new IADs take digital PBX connectivity, FXS analog lines for POTS/fax/modem connections, and maps them to the company’s own SIP engine. The SIP engine is interoperable with multiple third party softswitches, feature servers, application servers, trunk gateways, and SBCs.

Telco Systems
* Intrado will use Pac-West’s 911 Selective Router network trunking to facilitate the delivery of VoIP e911 calls for its U.S. customers.

* Teknovus has introduced a triple play CPE reference design that employs TI’s SoC.

* DigiLinea has interconnected its Latin American VoIP network with iBasis’ global network.

* Vapps will offer free call conferencing to Skype users, supporting conferences with up to 500 simultaneous participants

Pac West
Texas Instruments

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